A House of Ghosts: An Interview with W. C. Ryan

A House of Ghosts by W. C. Ryan debuted in Bas Bleu’s Spring Reading Collection: Mysteries, and we’d hoped to interview the novelist several months ago. But then the world went into lockdown, and A House of Ghosts was among the many novels flying off the shelves to entertain readers hunkered down at home. Thankfully, inventory has improved in recent weeks, and this spooky tale is back in stock! The historical mystery about a remote house party in World War I-era England, where secrets simmer and ghosts swarm, kept our reviewer up reading long past her bedtime. Recently (and without giving away any spoilers!), W. C. Ryan spoke to us from his home in England about the popularity of spiritualism during World War I, the authors and experiences that influence his work, and the romantic power of a pack of good books. Continue reading

Keep Calm and Color On

At-home entertainment has been both a blessing and a challenge in the last few months, with theaters, museums, stadiums, and other public venues shut down and people sticking close to home. Those readers staying at home are racing through piles of books, binge-watching movies and TV shows on Netflix, enjoying virtual cocktail parties with friends on Zoom, and working puzzles just as fast as Bas Bleu can ship them! Maybe you’ve been making use of your time to learn a new skill or hobby—raise your hand if you’re currently nursing a sourdough starter—or to revisit neglected ones. Some of our customers tell us they’ve pulled out their adult coloring books and put colored pencil to page again, both as a screen-free way to pass the time and as a respite from an unrelenting news cycle. Coloring can’t resolve the big issues we’re facing today, but some psychologists argue it may help to alleviate stress and improve concentration. Continue reading